Zidane: "This team is full of character and is always hungry for more"

"Vini Jr.'s two goals are really significant for him and the team", commented the coach.
Real Madrid claimed victory over Liverpool in the first leg of the sides’ Champions League quarter-final tie and Zinedine Zidane reflected on the encounter from the media room at the Alfredo Di Stéfano in the following terms: “I'm delighted for the players. We prepare for the games and it's far from easy. We've managed to keep our good run going. We managed the game really well right from the off. We struggled a little bit at the start of the second half because there’s another team out there and with just one chance they scored, but ultimately tonight's 3-1 scoreline is deserved. We put in a massive effort. The players are tired in there and we've got to enjoy what we did, rest up well, recover and, from tomorrow, start thinking about Saturday's game”.

“We didn't change anything. We brought Militão in for Varane. We were intending on setting up in a 4-3-3 formation and stuck to what we’d prepared. I'm delighted for all of them because it's not easy when you find out that you’re without a player at the last minute. We’ve had to face a lot of things this year and are always ready and have shown that once again tonight”.

Vini Jr.
“I'm not sure whether that was Vini Jr.’s best performance for us, but to get two goals in a quarter-final is very significant for him and the team. He's working really hard, just like all of them, and it's always important for a player to score goals. First and foremost, I'm delighted for him. He and all of them are doing an excellent job, particularly defensively. We know just what a good player is when he's given space, like on his first goal. I'm delighted because perhaps the one thing that was missing in his game was goals. Given just how hard he's working, having scored two goals here tonight will really give him, the team and everyone a confidence boost. He deserves it”.

Is Champions League glory that bit closer?
“We're not close to winning anything. We haven't won anything yet. We're happy with the result. The players are doing an amazing job after all of the issues we've had this season. We're happy with how we’re doing. There's still a long way to go, we’re still fighting in the two competitions and we're going to keep on fighting. This was the first leg, but we know that we've still got the return leg to come and our plan is to go into it thinking that the score is still 0-0. We're going to face another really tough game in the second leg”.

The players are doing an amazing job after all the issues we've faced this season.

“That’s the character this team possesses. Every player goes through tough spells, it hasn’t been easy for them but I’m absolutely certain this team has the personality to turn it around. They fight hard on the pitch, they give it their all in every game. This team has no limits, that’s the great thing, they always want more. They’re players with vast experience and they’ve won so much already but they want to keep doing so and that shows the character of every player in the squad”. 

Tactics
“We prepare the games. We knew their full-backs were extremely offensive and they could cause us problems in that sense. We prepared well and then it’s down to the players out on the pitch to do the job, but what we did particularly well was the defensive side of things. First and foremost, you have to defend well and everyone did that. If you defend well, we know we’ll make chances in the game in an attacking sense. We saw just that, because it’s an unbelievable ball by Toni Kroos and then Vini Jr.’s pace, the opening goal was gorgeous”.

Casemiro, Kroos and Modrić
“We know all about the players we have and of course they’re doing a great job. They’re highly experienced and they want to show how good they are, which they do time and again”.

Playing without fans
“We have to play the return leg. With or without fans, Liverpool are our opposition and they’re going to give it everything they’ve got. We have to be ready, it’s an appealing second leg and we know we’re going to have to do the same again”.

Klopp’s comments about the Di Stéfano
“I don’t know, I’m not going to discuss what he said. This is our stadium. We play here and we’re proud to be playing at the Alfredo Di Stéfano”.